Labor Day brings us to the sad and official end of summer. For many it has been the signal to go back to school, stop wearing white and put the cover on the grill for the season. Despite the reluctant seasonal goodbye, we do have a few benefits at the end of the summer. All the fruits and veggies are perfect for eating and cooking with. One of my favorite things to make is a combination of different sauteed veggies and a simple sauce.
My sweet parents have a garden they tend to and share from, and it is a beautiful thing. Most of the stuff in this dish they were so nice to send me home with. This is super easy to put together and can be served hot, cold, or even room temperature. It's a great side to use up nature's bounty and share with others as a last summer hooray!
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons, olive oil
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups orzo or other small pasta, cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
In a cold pan place the olive oil and garlic cloves together. Then turn the heat to medium low. Starting with a cold pan infuses the oil with the garlic flavor. Let the garlic cook for just a few minutes, but don't let it brown.
After the garlic has softened, add in the rest of the veggies and add in some salt and pepper. Let this cook over medium heat until they have just softened a little.
Once the veggies are slightly tender, add in the whole can of tomatoes with the juice. Let this simmer for about ten minutes
Add in the pasta and combine it well with the sauce. Let this cook for about another five minutes so the pasta absorbs all the flavors. Turn off the heat and add in the cheese. If you add the cheese while it's still cooking, it gets a weird rubbery texture.
Just before serving, sprinkle over a bit more cheese and a few specks of basil.